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Health workers to detect family problems

Published on 14/06/2004

14 June 2004

AMSTERDAM — Health State Secretary Clemence Ross has proposed that midwives, maternity assistants and consultation bureaux play a greater role in detecting problem families and protecting child safety.
Besides giving vaccinations, weighing babies and monitoring teeth development, the junior minister believes that staff of consultation bureaux should also assess the family situation.
They must then not only assess the physical health but also the psychological development of babies and children through discussions with parents. Bureaus can thus act as guard dog for youth problems.

In unveiling her proposal at the conference Operation Youth in Scheveningen on Monday, Ross said a national registration system should be developed to identify problem children.

The database will be accessible to social workers, medical professionals and possibly also police. It is hoped that the system will allow for quick intervention in the event of a family emergency.
The consultation bureaux will also gain greater liberty in taking the initiative in problem situations. The province of Zeeland is already conducting a similar experiment with success, Ross said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news